(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "[untitled] The American Historical Review, (1899-12-01), pages 345-347"

STOP 



Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 
purposes. 

Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early- 
journal-content . 



JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 
contact support@jstor.org. 



Krausse : Russia in Asia 345 

and brings him out a professor, — equipped even to the spectacles, — a 
nonpareil of knowledge, who fastens on some subject great or small, 
timely or remote, with the dispassionate persistence of a leech ; and who, 
after many years, revolutionizes our theory of Greek roots, or microbes, 
or of religion." Bryant, he says, "came at the end of that metrical 
drought which lasted from Milton's death to Burns, when the instinct for 
writing musical iambics was lost, and instead men wrote in measured 
thuds, by rule. ' ' In the essay on Carlyle, perhaps the strongest and most 
thoughtful in the book, the author pays his respects to a certain type of 
historians whose work he photographs thus : " the collection of manu- 
scripts, the cataloguing of documents, the shoveling all together in thick 
volumes prefaced by forty pages of bibliography, each paragraph floating 
on a deep, viscous stream of notes, each volume bulging with a score of 
appendices — this is in no high sense history, but the accumulation of ma- 
terial therefor. ' ' 

Perhaps any title will do for a book of essays, yet it is difficult to see 
why this one, "Throne -Makers," was chosen. The author himself re- 
stricts it to the first quartette of subjects only, but of these four Kossuth 
might almost rise from his grave to reject the name of " Throne-Maker." 
Louis Napoleon tried to make a throne and failed, while Garibaldi may 
scarcely be allowed to take any laurels from Cavour. Neither would 
Garibaldi's ambition to bear such a title be much greater than that of 
Kossuth. It would be a strange classification that would really rank the 
sublimated Junker with two Republicans and a Jesuitical adventurer. 

Charles H. Levermore. 

Russia in Asia ; A Record and a Study, 1558— 1899. By Alexis 
Krausse. (New York : Henry Holt and Co. 1 899. Pp. xii, 
411.) 

We open this volume with some eagerness. An account of the pro- 
gress of Russia in Asia, with maps and an appendix of official documents, 
is opportune at the present time. The author declares, too, in his 
preface that " in criticizing the rival policies of Russia and England my 
endeavor has been to present the clear and impartial deduction that a 
careful study of those policies yields," which sounds promising. He 
also assures us that he has used more than two hundred authorities, 
Russian as well as English, although it is hard to understand how any one 
familiar with Russian can be so careless in his transcription as to write 
repeatedly tchinow'£ for tchinoz>#/,£ and to employ for the same termina- 
tion of proper names -of, -of and -ov indiscriminately. Our disappoint- 
ment, however, begins at about the end of the first page ; by the time 
we get to the last, with its climax of abuse, our feeling is not far from 
disgust. " Greed of empire," " Muscovite yoke," " career of intrigue, " 
" the ever forward movement of Russian exploitation," " the desire to 
invade other countries or despoil their rulers," "the swashbuckling 
attitude of the Great White Tsar," "the Muscovite octopus," "the 



346 Reviews of Books 

code of morals that should cramp her action does not exist, ' ' etc. , etc. , 
etc. — the book is merely one long diatribe, as violent as Marvin or 
Vambery and reminding us of foolish literature in other countries about 
" insatiable British greed " and " perfidious Albion." The strangest 
thing is that the writer talks in such a lofty manner about Russophobes, 
as to suggest that he does not suspect he could be taken for one himself, 
whereas his obvious prejudice deprives his opinion of almost all value. 
There is not one of his chapters that is historically impartial, and hardly 
a single description of important events that is not open to cavil. It 
would take a volume as long as his own to answer him in detail. 

The fundamental error of so many, and particularly of English, works 
that treat on Russian policy and expansion is to regard them as something 
mysterious, nay, almost devilish. Many people can not be brought to 
admit that Russians are men much like others, with the motives that are 
common to humanity, and using means chiefly determined by their cir- 
cumstances. We may grant that the extension of their empire has been, 
great and rapid, even if not so much so as in the case of Great Britain, 
that their foreign policy has shown more continuity than we find in some 
other nations, that their diplomats have often been clever and not over- 
scrupulous, that the story of their expansion has been stained by more 
than one act of unjustifiable aggression, or of heartless cruelty, while their 
rule has brought some curses as well as blessings in its train. There is 
nothing unique in any of these phenomena. It should not be difficult to 
see that the great extension of Russia to the eastward has been due chiefly 
to her having had a huge thinly-settled territory beyond her borders, any- 
more than it is to understand the advantages for colonization presented 
by the insular position of Great Britain. The conquest of Siberia came 
about by the same sort of inevitable process as our own " winning of the 
west' ' ; the subjugation of the Caucasus and Central Asia was not unlike 
the history of English extension in India and every whit as justifiable, 
however much we may find to criticize in detail. It is also as natural 
and legitimate for Russia to desire a port on the Persian Gulf as it is for 
Great Britain to want Delagoa Bay or an outlet on the Lynn Canal. As 
for deceitful declarations, even if we choose to call the present occupa- 
tion of Egypt an inestimable blessing to the inhabitants and a benefit to- 
civilization, the fact remains that, in breaking her promise to leave, Eng- 
land has been guilty of as flagrant a violation of her pledged word as any 
that has been charged to the Muscovite. When we come to the morality 
of the designs of the different European powers toward China no one can 
afford to throw many stones at its neighbors. We in the United States, 
if we have been taught nothing else in the last three years, have, it is to- 
be hoped, learned to be a little less prompt in adopting the " holier than 
thou' ' attitude, perhaps the most irritating fault of the Anglo-Saxon race. 
To give a few instances of Mr. Krausse's inaccuracy, he tells us that 
in Asiatic Russia "the railways which have of late years been pushed 
with such feverish haste, are nowhere schemed with the view to the de- 
velopment of the resources of the countries they traverse, ' ' a statement it. 



Miiller: Life of Ramakrishna 347 

is needless to criticize. We read that "Siberia, bleak and bare, offers 
small temptation as a field for emigration' ' [sic] , and we wonder if the 
writer knows that, rather to the alarm of the authorities at St. Peters- 
burg, Siberia already receives some two hundred thousand immigrants a 
year, that new regions are being opened up with American rapidity, and 
that the development of the immense mineral resources has but just 
begun. Or again, in order to prove a fixed policy of aggression on her 
part, we are informed that " European Russia is physically one of the 
most self-contained countries in the world. Her boundaries are marked 
out on every side by natural barriers or by racial lines. ' ' The truth is 
that on the east European Russia is bounded by the Urals, which, far 
from being "a line of demarcation in every sense complete," are in 
much of their extent rambling low hills or gently rising ground not even 
of sufficient importance for administrative divisions ; on the west the 
frontiers with Germany and Austria are absolutely artificial, hardly in the 
smallest degree physical or racial. Finally, neglecting such statements 
as that the Ameer " can not understand why Russia should advance year 
by year with unvarying success, while England remains within her ancient 
limits," when almost the reverse has been the case since 1885 (part of 
Beluchistan, Tchitral, etc.), it is worth while to quote two sentences 
which express a view often held by those who ought to know better. 
" Russia with her surplus of land and her paucity of people, her undevel- 
oped wealth and her exhausted budget, is ever agog for more territory, 
the acquisition of which will still further impoverish what she has, and 
deplete her resources beyond their present limit. Great Britain, with 
every inducement to forge ahead, refrains from conquest and restricts her 
efforts to the further development of what she owns, resting content with 
the mission she has set herself, to benefit the people over whom it is her 
destiny to rule." By way of comment here are the areas in square miles 
of the two empires, as given by the Statesman' s Year-Book at three dates 
in the last thirty-five years : 

Russian. British. 

1864, 7,612,874 3,440,628 

1881, 8,238,771 8,694,071 

(not including Khiva and Bokhara) 
1899, 8,660,395 ",712,170 

(not including Khiva and Bokhara) (not including Oman or Egypt). 

To borrow once more from Mr. Krausse, "I leave it to those of my 
younger readers who may delight in mental arithmetic, to discover how 
long it would take, supposing Russia continues to absorb territory at her 
present rate, for her to become mistress of the world. ' ' 

Archibald Cary Coolidge. 

Ramakrishna, His Life and Sayings. By the Right Hon. F. Max 
Muller, K.M. (New York : Charles Scribner's Sons. 1899. 
Pp. x, 200.) 

The readers of this Review will remember Vivekananda. the Brahman 
ascetic and apostle of advanced Hinduism, who appeared in America at